They’re hardly the sort of vehicle favoured by yummy mummies for school pick-up and touch parking outside supermarkets, but if you happen to be a red-blooded fisho there’s much to like about the new 4x4 alloy range from Origin.
They’re tagged ‘Australia’s toughest tinnie’ – a big call – but reinforce the claim with 4-millimetre wall thickness in a range extending from 4-4.95 metres (measured transom to bow rather than pod to bowsprit).
‘All models in the 4x4 range have been modified and improved for 2013,’ says Origin owner Col Svensson. ‘The sides have been lifted, the decks have been lifted, they have a larger fuel capacity, a new curved screen and off deck consoles have been remodelled.’
Also new this year, the Brisbane-based factory can also supply alloy trailers to suit each model. They are light in weight and rust free.
Origin relies mostly on word-of-mouth advertising as it deals directly with customers, rather than through a dealer. Buyers can customise their boat and be kept informed through the entire process.
‘It is the quality of your product and the value that you give that gets people talking and making recommendations to their mates and employers,’ Svensson said. ‘Our 4x4 range is a prime example of that. If you compare a 4x4 with a similar sized tinnie they are as different as bream and marlin.’
Another company showing tough love is NorthStar, whose military-spec range of RIBs arrived recently with all guns blazing.
In a competitive and price-sensitive market, where cheap Chinese-built boats are king, the European-manufactured range offers an interesting point of difference.
Sevaris Marine from Perth is the importer, aligning with suppliers such as Lowrance and BRP and Oceanic trailers to present turn-key packages.
‘NorthStar adheres to strict rating systems for compliance,’ agent Matt Sevior said. ‘Our boats over six metres meet or exceed CE Category B Offshore … the safety and stability requirements of this are much higher than Category C, which is the common rating of most other RIBs.’
Category B rating is defined as ‘designed for offshore voyages where conditions up to, and including, wind force eight (34-40 knots) and significant wave heights up to … four metres may be experienced’.
‘It’s why NorthStar has been called on to design and produce hundreds of RIBs for Coast Guard and military organisations around the world,’ Sevior added. ‘They’re also perfect for recreational boating around Rottnest Island in the west through to Sydney Harbour and the Whitsundays.’
Looking around, many of today’s boats are the marine-o-sexual equivalent of David Beckham, preened and pristine to within an inch of their life. How refreshing is it to see a couple of manufacturers flexing their muscles inside a blue singlet and pair of King Gee duds, ready to spit a golly at a moment’s notice.